Chiara Vilna-Santos ’24



Project Title

Building Capacity for Neighborhood Sustainability in New Orleans

Presentation Link

View Chiara's Presentation

Certificate(s): Urban Studies

I created a series of scenes that imagined what the future of New Orleans could look like in terms of stormwater management. My co-intern and I prepared this work with the idea that it would then be compiled into a small booklet that would be distributed to the community. The goal of this project was not to prescribe a specific plan for people to follow. Rather, by creating personal stories that community members could see themselves in, readers might find inspiration and build agency when it comes to their own relationship with stormwater management. Our work was primarily collage-based, using construction paper, hand drawings, and cutouts from local magazines and newspapers. We pulled from archives and stories that centered around New Orleans history to inform our stories and ground them in reality. In addition, we regularly met with community members, artists, community organizers, and educators to learn from them, listen to their stories, and receive feedback on our work. I learned how to organize workshops and structure effective feedback sessions. I met with a number of nontraditional architects and was inspired to think differently about how architects and planners can build for or with communities.

Internship Year


Project Category

Urban Sustainability


Broad Community Connections - New Orleans, Louisiana


Dasjon Jordan, Executive Director, Broad Community Connections; Chris Daemmrich, Visiting Assistant Professor, Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking, Tulane University